Sunday, May 31, 2009
Eggs and muffins...
Best Banana Bread/Muffins EVER
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Sandwiches, carrots and watermelon/fruit salad
Salads for me
Monday - Tator Tot Casserole with salad
Tuesday - Healthy Macaroni and Cheese
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Bunco at my house! Lagoon Chicken Salad with Chocolate Oat Bars
Friday - Pot Roast in the crock pot with carrots and mashed potatoes
Saturday - Party at Queen April's palace!
Sunday - Chicken Parmesan with pasta and salad
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Look at those empty shelves!!! Whatever will I put there? And here are my pretty, repurposed trash bins. Don't they look nice?
So here are my baskets on the bookshelves, nice and labeled...
And the "baskets" in the linen closet. (they're really repurposed trash bins I found on clearance) They make me happy just looking at them.
#29 on my list of 101 Goals should NOT have taken me 16 months to complete, but it's finally done!
- Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
- Always display kind actions and joyful attitudes, even if you have been mistreated. Have the right response by quickly forgiving others in your heart even before they ask.
- Always be enthusiastic and look for opportunities to praise others' character.
- Always deflect praise and be grateful to God and others for the ways they have benefited your life.
- Always use manners and be respectful of others and their belongings.
- Always do what is right, even when others may not, or when no one is looking.
- Thank God for how He made you, for what He has given you and everything He allows you to go through. (Romans 8:28)
- Don’t mock or put others down. Develop compassion and pray for others.
- Never argue, complain, or blame. Quickly admit when you have done wrong and ask for forgiveness (even if you were only 10% at fault). Don't wait till you’re caught. Be sure your sins will find you out. He who covers his sin will not prosper, but he that confesses and forsakes it shall find mercy.
- Have a tough accountability/prayer partner to daily share your heart with and to keep you in line (your parents, spouse). The power of sin is in secrecy.
- Be attentive and look for ways to serve others with sincere motives and no thought of self-gain.
- Think pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8, Romans 13:14).
- Always give a good report of others. Don't gossip! Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone. (Use Matthew 18.)
- Never raise a hand to hit.
- Never raise a foot to kick.
- Never raise an object to throw.
- Never raise a voice to yell.
- Never raise an eye to scowl.
- Use one toy/activity at a time. Share!
- Do your best to keep your surroundings neat, clean and organized.
- Never let the sun go down on your wrath. (Don’t go to bed angry or guilty)
- Amendment J.O.Y. - Put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.
The first line struck me more than anything. "Always use soft words..." And from what I've seen, they DO. It's probably the largest contributor to their house appearing to be so gentle and calm. (well, all things considered...there are a ton of louder little boys running around)
I'd love to institute this (and verbalize several of the others) in our home, but I think the soft words has to start with me. I think I've become much less reactive in the last few months, but I wish I had enough self control to not raise my voice. Ever. As unattainable as it seems, that actually is my goal.
#84 on my list of 101 Goals is to go a whole week without raising my voice to my kids. I was keeping track of my good days, but after 3 or 4 in a row, I'd lose my temper and have to start over. I stopped tracking much of anything while I had morning sickness, but what I've noticed recently is that when I DO lose my cool, I think to myself, "Wow - it's been a while since I raised my voice. I wonder if it's been a week?" And I notice that I generally raise my voice when one child has hurt the other and Mama Bear gets protective. So I AM getting better, considering I used to have hour by hour goals, not day by day!
I'm thinking this "use soft words" idea might work. It seems pretty universal and can replace my mantra of, "inside voices, please" which I say all. day. long. Plus, Kaylin's getting back into the bad habit of screaming (when she's mad, frustrated, feels mistreated) instead of using her words, so I've been actively trying to nip that in the bud.
There's always so much to work on. I feel this sense of urgency to correct certain behaviors before they become too "normal" for my kids. I let things go, don't get me wrong, but when I set my mind on retraining an issue, I give it my all.
I can blame the pregnancy all I want, but I'm starting to understand why I'm so tired all the time. I think my brain must hurt and wants a rest. Is it just me or does this parenting job seem constant???
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
I feel like my productivity of catching up from the Spring Cleaning challenge has come to a screeching halt. Not to mention that my once-clean, once-tidy, decluttered house is now a disaster. Due to all of the work being done on the exterior, we had to take all of our pictures off the walls and they're currently either stacked against the fireplace or piled on nearby surfaces. The residual dust that's creeping in through the unsealed windows is worse every day and I feel so discombobulated that basic tasks (like laundry and dishes) are sitting half-finished for way too long, just adding to the chaos. I think it's a "what's the point?" mentality. The house is a wreck, why bother making the kids pick up their toys? Why bother putting away the laundry? Why bother wiping off the counter? It is currently so much worse than it needs to be. I have some major clean-sweeping to do before I lose my mind. How did I let it get so bad in just a few days?
New subject, because thinking about my dirty house is stressing me out: Date Days. Mike and I have recently had a few date DAYS tacked on to our date nights. My mom has taken the kids overnight the last couple times she's babysat and instead of picking the kids up before lunch, she has kept them until after their naps, giving us an extra 3+ hours to ourselves. I have to say that enjoying the majority of the day with Mike without a "real" reason has been such a treat. We've gotten so many errands run, including shopping around for things for the house that seemed to get put off because of the kids' short attention spans.
Saturday, I have no idea what got into my husband, but he was a spending fool. Part of the reason was the huge dumpster outside our house. He wanted to take advantage of it and throw away our broken patio umbrellas and ripped, secondhand patio chairs. They were on their last leg last summer, but now that we're using the pool a lot, it's becoming obvious that they need to be tossed and replaced. Since we had time to shop around, we got some amazing deals. Mike got to experience a little of the "savers high" that I get when I save money on groceries. He was so giddy, he just kept spending: we went out to lunch, found a huge clearance sale and bought some Christmas gifts, he's even ready to splurge on a patio covering that I've wanted for the last 3 years. Of course, he can't put it up until the house is done, so that's a little premature, but he was itching to make the purchase.
Next random topic: it seems that overnight, Kaylin has started crying every time she wears anything but her flip flops. How fast do feet grow, anyway? I just bought her tennis shoes and now they're too small! These kids are going to make me broke. Time to pack up the size 7s and pull out the size 8 hand me downs until I can make it to the store...
All of that wasn't even why I brought up the show. During the Weekend Update segment, Seth Meyers mentioned that Kate from Jon & Kate Plus 8 reports that she and Jon are NOT splitting up (who else is sick of that drama on every newsstand??) but Seth's addition to the story was that TLC has announced two new shows in the fall lineup: Jon Plus 4 and Kate Plus 4. I cracked up! It was so funny. Really, it was. Okay, maybe you had to be there...
It was funny at the time, anyway. I just watched the newest Jon & Kate show and it was SO sad to see what they're going through. The paparazzi was stalking their kids' 5th birthday party, following them through the parking lot to pick out party decorations, it really disgusts me. The media always has, though. And during their interviews on the show, neither is denying that they may split up, so who knows. It's just so sad to see how quickly lives can change, even in people who love each other. So sad.
I never watch the Jon & Kate reruns (I think I've seen every show) but I happened to catch a few minutes of a "movie night" themed rerun one boring afternoon. Kate gives each child their own little cup of popcorn and puts surprises on the top for them to find as they're eating. (surprises meaning candy) I don't know why that never struck me the first time I saw the show - maybe because we just started doing movie nights around Thanksgiving. Anyway, I added a few M&Ms and some gummy worms (that were unopened from Ryan's Christmas stocking) onto the kids' popcorn buckets for movie night tonight and they were SO excited and appreciative. I know most of you think I'm a total food Nazi, so laugh at me if you must. I throw away so much candy in our house, it's crazy. I just never give it to them and they rarely ask for it. When I cleaned out my pantry a couple weeks ago, not only did I toss a bunch of Easter candy, I even found lingering Halloween candy. In May. I did get creative and chop up some chocolate bunnies last week when I ran out of chocolate chips. How resourceful am I???
Next random topic: Ryan thinks the word, "otherwise" is a bad word. I can see why he's confused and have tried to correct him, but he doesn't get it. The problem is that he'll say something like, "Kaylin, give me that toy back otherwise I won't play with you anymore." I quickly wanted to nip the threats in the bud, so I stopped him saying, "Ryan, don't say, 'otherwise.'" As a result, he'd respond with, "Kaylin, give me back the toy. I had it first." Appropriate, right? Well, he's now catching Mike and I saying, "otherwise" and tries to get us to stop. Tonight, Mike said something like, "I need to cook the burgers soon, otherwise we'll be eating really late." Ryan piped in with, "Daddy - don't say, 'otherwise.'" I explained (again) the idea of using otherwise before a threat versus just an explanation and I doubt he got it. But Mike is already sick of Ryan "catching" him in the act of saying the forbidden "otherwise" word.
Last thing: a close friend in Michigan just had her 4th baby this weekend and her son is the same age as Ryan...they'll be 5 next month. Talk about a challenge, right? Or so I thought. Well, they do natural births, so she was very surprised to learn that their newest baby girl has down syndrome. I'm so heartbroken over the emotions she must be going through right now. If you feel led, please pray for a quick peace for her and her family. They will be amazing parents of a special needs child, that's not the issue...it's just the shock of the news that needs to settle in and become their new reality, you know?
And being pregnant isn't helping matters for me. I was just mentioning to Mike yesterday that it feels like a while since I've felt the baby move, but it could be that I'm not paying attention. (I'm only 17 weeks, after all - the baby flutters that I feel are often confused with gas at this point!) Let's just say that I'm getting anxious to hear a little heartbeat next Monday, and to find out what we're having.
Whew! Now I think I'll be able to sleep tonight. :) I haven't had a good brain dump in a while. Felt good. Thanks for those of you who hung with me and read all of my nonsense!!!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Eggs and Toast
Rise and Shine Muffins
Turkey Sandwiches (I may have to make a Panini or two for me. I add pesto and throw on some sun-dried tomatoes and provolone...YUM.)
Pine Nut Orzo Salad
Monday - Memorial Day BBQ with neighbors - Burgers, Pesto Pasta Salad, corn on the cob, fruit and brownies.
Tuesday - Frugal Bean Stew
Wednesday - Garlic Chicken Farfalle
Thursday - Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers
Friday - Chicken Fried Rice
Saturday - Sloppy Joes with salad
Sunday - Baked Egg and Cheese Crepes
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Me: "Are you tattling or is this a safety issue?"
Me: "That's right. How about you lay very still in bed and not shush her when she talks. Try ignoring her and she'll think you're asleep. That way no one gets in trouble."
Kaylin: "HEEEEEEY! He's not sweetie...I'M sweetie. He's buddy."
Ryan (clears throat)
Ryan: "Kay-LIN. Stop copying me!"
Me: "Do not ever...EVER cut your hair again. There is a gap in the front now and it isn't even with the rest of your hair. Daddy will have to fix it when he gets home."
Ryan: "But the hair was in my way..."
Me: "Next time, you tell me and I'LL fix it for you. No more cutting your hair. Understood?"
Friday, May 22, 2009
The same people also argue that they save just as much money at Costco, which I think is a misperception. I have a handful of things I always buy at Costco, but stopped buying many items there because I realized I save much more money shopping sales and using coupons.
Back to the reason for my post: Fry's (and all Kroger affliliated grocery stores) has a promotion right now on Huggies. When you buy $15 in Huggies products, you automatically get $3 off your bill. The smaller packages of Huggies are already marked down to $8.99, making this a good deal even if you don't have any coupons.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Okay, I'm going to share some of the shockers that apply to mistakes I might make:
Do you know what I got from reading all of this? I need to continue eating at home. We rarely eat out for financial reasons, but who knows what I'd weigh if that weren't an issue! Restaurants add so much unnecessary junk to their food to make it extra irresistible. When we cook at home, we know exactly what's in our meals.
Eat. At. Home. That's my lecture for the day.
I love my blog name. LOVE it. I even refused to change it when I temporarily colored my hair brown. But I have a bun in the oven that's going to mess up my great title!
My kids have a history of being born bald. And usually stay so for quite some time, so I won't know if #3 will be blonde (likely) or another random redhead for at least a year, maybe longer. But once this little peanut enters the world, I'm gonna need a new blog name, don't you think?
I've toyed with "Three Blondes and a Redhead + 1" or "Three Blondes and a Redhead and a baldy" *blech* - see why I need help???
So I'm asking for thoughts. Ideas. Suggestions. Maybe I'll even send you a prize if I pick your blog title. Who knows what I have up my sleeve...
Watch this baby come out with a head full of black hair. That would certainly throw these two blonde parents for a loop!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I just successfully created my first file in Photoshop Elements 6.0. I am SERIOUSLY celebrating! I have wanted this program for years, finally got it for Christmas but didn't have enough room on our computer to upload it, got a new computer and uploaded it and the dumb program didn't come with an instruction manual! I pleaded for help from fellow Photoshop users and everyone suggested I take a class. (perfect - because I have just been dying to spend more money in this economy...)
But, just moments ago, I found this step-by-step guide to how to get smaller pictures combined into a 4x6 size. It's JUST what I needed to get started with this overwhelming program. (The picture below is actually 2 vertical pictures combined into one...I done good, huh? It almost looks like the kids are sitting directly next to each other.)
Sure, most of them are the same, but some need 4 characters, some require a minimum of 6. Other websites start force me to use both letters and numers in the password and it must be at least 8 characters long and not contain any part of my user name and no one in the state of Maryland can have the same password and...and...and...well, I've been known to forget my password at times.
Monday, May 18, 2009
(To get your creativity flowing...) Questions the schools have asked include:
I got the idea for these "school albums" from Becky Higgins a few years ago. I saw that she'd made a similar book to record her husband's school years and thought it would be easier to do a 2-page layout each year as my kids go through school instead of being overwhelmed by the task when they're 18.
Any other ideas out there for recording your kids' school years or other highlights? I'd love to hear!